One of the biggest purchases we will make in our lifetime is our car .. right ? 

    If that is the case then when deciding on open or enclosed auto transport you need to make sure you are well informed. 


    In this post we will go over the pros and cons of enclosed auto shipping so you can decide if it is right for you. 


    What we will cover: 

    • Just What Is Enclosed Auto Transport ? 
    • What Is The Difference Between Enclosed and Open 
    • How Much Does It Cost ? 
    • What Factors Effect The Cost ? 
    • How To Choose The Right Auto Transport Company 
    • Are There Drawbacks To Enclosed Auto Transport ? 


    Lets get to it ! 

    Every time you want to relocate from one region to another shipping your vehicle always proves to be a headache. This is especially true if the distance involved is significant. Regardless of how much you may love to drive, when it comes to covering more than 300 miles fun ceases to be part of the driving. If you consider the amount of cash you will spend on fuel and the time it will take you, you will realize that transporting your vehicle through driving it is very expensive. Furthermore, you will have to consider the wear and tear and other dangerous environmental conditions that you will be exposing your car to. Of what point will it be if you manage to relocate to another region but upon arrival, your car is nothing but a piece of scrap? If you love your car and would want it to continue serving you after your relocation isn't it reasonable to just let an auto transporting company do it for you? These guys are there to get rid of all the headache involved when shipping a vehicle.

    If it's your first time trying to use their services, then you probably don't know that there are two types of auto transportations, Open and enclosed auto transport. To receive the best transportation services deserving for your car, you first need to know and understand how they operate, when to choose either of them and the price differences involved. We are here to provide you with that exact information to ensure that you manage to transport your car smoothly, safely and efficiently.

    So what is an enclosed auto transport?

    Enclosed auto transport is also known as covered auto transport. In this particular type of transportation, your car usually goes inside a fully enclosed trailer. This means that the trailer not only protects your vehicle from various potentially harmful road and environmental elements but also helps to keep them private and free from attention when on the highway. It is quite a popular means of car transportation ideal when transporting sports, classic, luxury, and high-end vehicles. Perhaps this is why the costs involved when using enclosed auto transport are significantly higher than the open auto transport alternative.

    Some of the notable differences between an enclosed and an open auto transport are:

    i. Enclosed are covered trailers which protect your car from weather and road elements while open carriers leave your car exposed.

    ii. Enclosed carriers are in most cases a slower service with less carrying capacity while open carriers are faster and capable of shipping more cars.

    iii. Enclosed trailers are exclusive for shipping other unique and expensive cars while open trailers are more affordable for different car models.

    iv. Some enclosed carriers come with a cloth for covering the car further while open carriers do not cover cars.

    Types of enclosed auto transport

    There is usually a variety of types of enclosed car carriers in the market. The difference between these them could be as a result of the shapes of the carriers involved, the materials that the carriers are made of and the number of car spots available in the carriers. This, therefore, ends up with:

    - Soft or hard sided carriers : the soft-sided carriers are of course less safe compared to the hard sided carriers. Consequently, the hard sided carriers will be expected to charge you more than the soft sided carriers because they offer more security and safety to your car.

    - A single/two car carrier or a multi-car trailer : In a single/two car trailer only one or two cars can be transported at a time., These trailers are usually small with space just enough for that one or two vehicles. They are ideal if you are looking for express services and they will deliver your car as soon as possible. Due to their little carriage capacity, they are more costly than multi-car trailers. The multi-car trailers are massive with some having enough space to fit up to 7 cars at a go! They will, however, take a little bit more time to deliver your vehicle than the single car carriers.

    How much will it cost you to ship a car?

    This is one of the most important questions you will ask yourself before deciding how you will want to transport your vehicle. The rates of shipping cars vary from time to time due to various factors that we will discuss later. They can range from $250 to as much as $2500. The fact is that in enclosed auto transport, you should be ready to part ways with at least $300 more than if you were to use an open vehicle trailer. Some of the shipping companies will even ask for double the amount it costs in the open carriers. Just to give you a clue of how much you can expect to pay, shipping a running Alfa Romeo 4c in an enclosed carrier today will cost you $1289.

    What factors affect the cost of shipping a car?

    Various factors will determine how much you will spend in shipping your vehicle. These factors include:

    i. Vehicle Model and Make : auto transport vehicles normally have a set weight limit that they have to adhere to. This is why the make and model of a car will be crucial in deciding how much they will charge you. Smaller cars are expected to be cheaper to ship than big heavier ones. Any modifications done on your car that might have added some pound to its weight will all be considered when quoting the price.

    ii. The condition of the vehicle : the condition of your car, whether it is running or not, has an impact on how much you will be charged. An inoperable car, for example, will need to be lifted into the carriers or may require the assistance of a truck to get it on board. This leads to an extra costly work that is more time-consuming consequently resulting in increased prices.

    iii. Distance and location : distance and location can affect the cost of transporting a vehicle in a variety of ways. The bigger the distance that your car has to cover the more the expenses of maintaining the shipment and the more the price you will pay. This, however, does not mean that short distances are cheaper. In most cases, even short distances may cost almost as much as long distances because they still require the same loading and offloading efforts and maintenance. The location of the starting and final destination of your car is also critical when coming up with a price quotation. Most shipment companies explain that the further away from a major highway your destination is the more you are likely to pay. This, therefore, means that if you are shipping your car from a big city to another big city, then you will pay less than one who is transporting the vehicle to a remote town far from the main highway. This is so simply because when going to a remote location, the carriers are expecting to consume more fuel since they will probably have to go to and from the town. It is also time-consuming and exposes the trailers to potential threats in the remote locations.

    iv. Season : the price of shipping a vehicle may also vary depending on the season you decide to transport it. Different seasons are known to affect some routes significantly every year making the transportation journey more time consuming and risky. Shipping cars to, for example, Texas, Arizona or Florida during snowbirds season of winter and spring is always expensive. This is not just due to the weather but also because during this time the demand for auto carriers is typically high.

    v. The current fuel prices : you will naturally expect fuel prices to have an impact on how much it would cost you to ship a car. This is the main reason why the cost of shipping a car this week could be higher by as much as $150 than it was last week. Therefore, auto shipment's costs could vary depending on the fluctuation of the fuel prices.

    vi. Type of transport : as we had already said, the cost of using an enclosed carrier cannot be the same as that of using an open carrier.

    Enclosed shipments would naturally be expensive for various reasons:

    i. The number of enclosed trailers in the market is limited. In the United States, approximately 90% of all auto transport carriers are open while enclosed trailers are just 10%. This means that enclosed trailers are less available and when available they will cost you more.

    ii. Enclosed trailers are expensive. Purchasing an enclosed trailer is very expensive limiting the number of people who can afford to buy them and use them for auto transporting.

    iii. Reduced efficiency. In enclosed carriers, only a few vehicles can be fitted for transportation at a time. This means that they are less efficient compared to the open trailer which can load as much a ten cars. To balance the number and ensure that they can collect enough revenue to remain profitable, they have to charge more for their shipment services.

    iv. The value they offer. In enclosed trailers, the shipment companies try to ensure that you give excellent services at a personal level. To them, you are more than just a customer, and your satisfaction is their utmost priority. This is mainly because they are used to shipping an exotic and luxury car. They, therefore, hire highly skilled and experienced drivers for their carriers. Most of these drivers know how to handle the expensive cars they are transporting in case of anything. Moreover, you get value in choosing enclosed trailers because they offer privacy and more protection for your vehicle.

    Choosing the best auto transport method for your car

    There is no one company that can guarantee you perfect auto shipment services, and neither is there a formula on how to select the best automobile transport. There, however, are a few tips that can be essential in assisting you to land on the best shipment method for your car.

    i. The amount of time in your hand : if you are not in a hurry to have your vehicle shipped then the closed carrier could be ideal for you. If on the other hand, you are on a tight schedule and need a quick delivery, then its best you choose the open carriers. This is simply because closed trailers are rare and will take time before your shipment is processed and have a carrier allocated to you.

    ii. The amount of cash you are willing to spend : as we have learned, closed trailers are expensive than their open counterparts. If, therefore, you have the financial muscles to afford the closed carriers then go ahead and use them because you will get better value for your money.

    iii. The type of vehicle you are transporting : this is an imperative factor that should be taken into account when choosing an automobile shipment method. If you are transporting an exotic masterpiece, then it's in your best interest to opt for the enclosed shipment. You wouldn't want your Aston Martin DB9 delivered to you with a scratch, would you?

    iv. The protection you want to be offered to your car : some people's cars may not be luxurious or expensive but are of high souvenir value that they cherish so much. For such individuals, protection is a priority. In such cases, you are advised to use the enclosed trailers which offer more protection.

    v. The ground clearance of your vehicle : if your car is very low near the ground, then you will be forced to use the enclosed system because their hydraulic lifting system will ensure that your car is undamaged during the loading or offloading process.

    Cons of Enclosed Automobile Carriers

    Everything has its good and bad side, and the enclosed trailers are no exception. A few disadvantages are associated with enclosed carriers;

    i. Unlike in open carriers, in enclosed shipments, the driver's ability to make routine checks and inspections during transit is very limited.

    ii. Its high costs is also a challenge to most people.

    With the above information, you should now be in a position to understand what an enclosed auto transport is and how it compares with the open carriers. This should hence help you to make a more informed decision when deciding which carrier option to use.

    Last Updated 4/11/2017

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